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Not all sternotomies indicate previous coronary artery bypass grafting surgery

Mulligan, Rebekah, MD; Khan, Muhamad Usman, MD; Khouzam, Rami N., MD, FACC, FACP, FASNC, FASE, FSCAI

Journal of the American Academy of PAs: January 2016 - Volume 29 - Issue 1 - p 26–30
doi: 10.1097/01.JAA.0000472628.60595.63
Case Report

ABSTRACT Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) is one of the most commonly performed surgeries. Clinicians often assume that a sternal scar or sternal wires seen on radiographic images are evidence of previous CABG. However, these wires could be related to other cardiothoracic surgeries. Incorrectly assuming that patients have coronary artery disease can affect their future management and increase healthcare costs. This article discusses two patients who were misidentified as having previous CABG based on the presence of sternal wires on chest radiographs.

At the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, Tenn., Rebekah Mulligan is a resident and Muhamad Usman Khan is a cardiology fellow. Rami N. Khouzam is an associate professor at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and program director of the interventional cardiology fellowship program. He also is director of the cardiac catheterization laboratory at Methodist University Hospital and division chair of cardiology and medical director of the echocardiography laboratory and non-invasive/treadmill and nuclear stress test laboratory at Methodist South Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. The authors have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

Copyright © 2016 American Academy of Physician Assistants
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